Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Weeklies Roundup

Just a few articles I've come across in the last couple of days, in the New Yorker and elsewhere.

First, an interesting piece in the London Review of Books on the British Museum's Views from Africa exhibition. The exhibition displays images of Europeans as seen by artists from around Africa since the 16th Century.

Then a few articles from the New York Review of Books. One is ane excellent piece by William Pfaff, entitled What's Left of the Union. It's a very sound assessment of the implications of the referendum results. Tony Judt has a not-entirely-satisfactory review of a number of books on America's place in the world. Mark Dammer has an exchange with John Walcott, arising from his previous article, The Secret Way to War. Dammer's basic point is somewhat obscure, but the general line is that Bush lied about the run-up to war (old news, but since when does it become passé to say that a political leader deliberately misled his people on an aggressive war?).

Finally, in the New Yorker, a fascinating account of the espionage arrests that have been made against a number of people working for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The account is notable for a number of reasons, although one feels some sympathy for the people at the centre of the allegations: they seem to have lost the run of themselves and their political sympathies rather than cynically engaging in what any lay person would regard as spying. But it does provide some insight into the moral grey zone that is America's political and commercial lobbying industry. Peripherally, also, the article points to the muddle that is the US classification system for documents. Unlike the UK, the fact that a document is classified in the US doesn't necessarily mean that it's illegal to disclose it (after all, you're protected under the 1st amendment. Interesting stuff.

No comments: